US fashion brand Michael Kors has agreed to buy iconic British shoemaker Jimmy Choo. It's snapping up a firm launched in the east end of London and made famous by celebrity fans including Princess Diana.
US fashion brand Michael Kors confirmed Tuesday it had agreed to acquire British shoemaker Jimmy Choo for some 900 million pounds ($1.2 billion, 1 billion euros).
It said in a statement the UK firm, whose celebrity fans included Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Nicole Kidman and Kate Middleton, was the "ideal partner" for the US handbag and clothing maker.
"Michael Kors intends to apply the experiences, infrastructure and capabilities that it has developed as a company over the course of its own worldwide growth as a luxury fashion brand to support the growth of Jimmy Choo," the statement added.
The London-listed Jimmy Choo will retain its current management team, including Chief Executive Pierre Denis.
Jimmy Choo - best know for its stiletto heels - said "a combination with Michael Kors would allow it to embark on the next phase of growth and provide opportunities for the benefit of customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders."
The group was founded 20 years ago by Malaysia-born Jimmy Choo and British socialite Tamara Mellon.
It became a household name after its shoes repeatedly featured on high-profile TV shows including "Sex and the City."
Michael Kors for its part was the hottest name in affordable luxury with a hugely popular handbag range. But the company has been struggling recently with declining same-store sales. In response, it has expanded into dresses and menswear and invested in its online business.
hg/uhe (Reuters, AFP)